Modern Languages School Placements

Modern Languages students have been helping primary and secondary pupils to nurture a passion for languages, as part of an innovative partnership between Swansea University and regional schools.

A group of undergraduate students delivered multilingual workshops and language taster sessions with pupils from year 3 to year 13 in Swansea (Terrace Primary School) and Cardiff (Y Pant Comprehensive), helping them to explore the connections and similarities between French, German, Italian, Spanish, English and Welsh.

The new Curriculum for Wales has brought about substantial changes to how and what Welsh pupils will learn. Approximately 1,500 Welsh Primary and Secondary schools must now deliver international languages from age 5 and assure a fluid progression throughout. This is both a challenging and an exciting opportunity for Swansea University students who can engage with schools on work placements, projects, and outreach activities.

The sessions run at the schools have included activities ranging from Italian creative story-telling workshops with a focus on phonological awareness and phoneme-grapheme correspondence to writing German-language raps set to cool background music.

Susanne Arenhoevel, Lecturer in German at Swansea University explained:

“It was wonderful to partner with Terrace Road Primary School. Over 90 children had the opportunity to explore another language and gain a glimpse into the culture of different countries. It proved to be a great opportunity to foster cultural exchanges and celebrate diversity.”

Tanya May, Lecturer in Spanish and Literacy Project Lead at Swansea University reflected on the value of placements while studying for a degree:

“The Literacy Project (LP) has helped our undergraduate students to put into practice the skills they have learnt at university, consolidated knowledge, and developed active citizenship. It is encouraging to see how much our students have grown and developed during their time on the project and they have embraced the opportunity to positively impact on other people’s lives”.

Dr Giovanna Donzelli, Lecturer in Italian at Swansea University concluded:

“These close collaborations and partnerships with the local community and schools provide important opportunities for our undergraduate students to acquire a wider range of skills, build a supportive professional network and develop their work-experience portfolio.

“Working together with schools and external partners from the very early stages of their academic career enables our students to gain a deeper understanding and value of what they learn with us. This strengthens resilience and motivation and enables them to become accomplished, socially aware, global citizens while placing languages at the centre of fostering a global mindset among our young people.”

Find out more about the wide-range of Undergraduate and Postgraduate Modern Languages courses available at Swansea University.

Participating student testimonials:

Modern Languages student’s Leslie and Catrin

Leslie - “I have very much enjoyed extending my passion for Modern Foreign Languages to others. My school placement was very rewarding and also helped cement my decision to work towards becoming a teacher as my future career.”

Catrin - “The pupils were so enthusiastic and curious about modern languages. Teaching at Y Pant was an amazing opportunity for me to experiment different teaching methods that I have studied in my university modules.”

Modern Languages, Translation, and Interpreting student, Marzia

“This was a new and challenging experience. I enjoyed engaging with the pupils and seeing them getting excited about languages that I am also passionate about!”

International Relations and Spanish student, Nicole

“As a first-year student this experience has not only enhances my language skills but also aligns seamlessly with my International Relations and Spanish courses, emphasising the crucial role of languages in today's interconnected world.” 

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